Richard Branson's Virgin Voyages offers 4-week cruises for remote workers

Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages is the latest cruise company looking to lure remote workers into traveling the world as they telecommute, but instead of locking people into a multi-year journey, it’s offering a shorter option.

The company has announced a “Scarlet Summer Season Pass,” which will allow passengers to sail on four consecutive weeklong Mediterranean cruises. That’s a different approach than the one taken by the failed Life at Sea cruise or the more recent Villa Vie Residences offering.

The price of the extended Virgin cruise is a fair bit more as well. Villa Vie, which said it had secured the boat for the journey before offering it, is charging passengers $33.000 per year to sail the world. Virgin will charge $10,000 for just a month, though that’s a per couple rate.

Cruises will depart in June, July, August and September. They’ll include WiFi and a $10 coffee credit as well as laundry services and most food (though you’ll pay extra for shows and certain upscale menu items). You’ll also have access to a member’s only sundeck, the cruise line says.  

As with the other extended cruise offerings, part of the idea is to take advantage of the notable number of remote workers, who learned during the pandemic that they could still do their jobs without having to commute into the office each day.

The first company to advertise this scuttled its cruise weeks before it was scheduled to set sail, leaving some passengers stranded. Despite vows to return the deposits of tens of thousands of dollars, some passengers say they still haven’t gotten their money back.

Last December, Villa Vie announced its own 3.5-year cruise, which is scheduled to set sail in May. Prices for passage on that journey start at under $33,000 per year—and passengers have the option of renting or buying a cabin.

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